The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride begins at the Alabama/Tennessee state line on U. S. Highway 72 in Bridgeport with riders departing at 8 a.m. CST on Saturday, Sept. 19. The ride travels U. S. Highway 72 West to I-565 West, arriving at Redstone Harley-Davidson at 10:30 a.m. for an official ride rest and lunch stop. At 12 p.m., riders will depart and head west through Florence arriving in Waterloo at 2:30 p.m.
A kick-off rally offering children’s activities, live music, entertainment by Cherokee Indian dancers, street dance, a fireworks show and other free family fun is scheduled in downtown Bridgeport on Friday, September 18th. Bikes will start arriving at 3 p.m., and the official opening ceremony gets underway at 3:15 p.m.
Waterloo will host a free POW WOW September 18-20 in remembrance with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, flute, drum music and displays from Native American artisans and vendors. A River Walk Dedication is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. with the grand entry slated for 1 p.m. and bikes arriving around 2:30 p.m.
The ride is held rain or shine. For more information on the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride, including a map of the route and a schedule of events, visit al-tn-trailoftears.net/rideschedule.php. or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/Trailoftearsmotorcycle.
Local author of “Riding to Remember: Trail of Tears Motorcyle Ride,” Jerry Shadow Wolf Davis, has written about the Trail of Tears and the legislation that contributed to this tragedy. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 called for the voluntary or forcible removal of all Indians from the eastern United States to the state of Oklahoma. Davis will be in Bridgeport for a book signing on September 18th at 3 p.m. and in Waterloo at 1 p.m. on the 19th.
A ride in from Cherokee, North Carolina will leave at 10 a.m. Friday the 18th from the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds, and a ride continuation to Tahlequah, Oklahoma will leave from Spring Park in Tuscumbia at 8 a.m. Sunday morning the 20th.